Cancer in animals is often very similar to the cancer risks experienced by humans. If you are a dog owner, it is important to become familiar with the cancer risks your dog may experience, especially if your dog is of a unique breed. For many dogs, complications such as mouth cancer are often not immediately recognized and can lead to relatively progressive life threatening health complications.
Mouth cancer in dogs is a unique type of canine malignancy that is often not immediately understood by dog owners. Because dogs typically do not obtain oral healthcare treatment, the complications of cancer in the mouth may not be recognized until such time as the dog is suffering from extensive complications. For this reason, and especially if your dog has a risk based on breed and genetic factors, regular examination of the mouth is important.
A veterinarian can clean and examine your dog’s teeth and mouth, at least, once per year but often down owners do not seek out this type of canine treatment. Instead, we wait until there is a complication to inquire as to what the ailment may be. With mouth cancer in dogs, the ailment is often first indicative by loss of appetite due to pain associated with complications in the mouth.
If you find that your dog is not eating food normally, or if you notice that your dog is salivating more than normal, then consultation with a veterinarian is important. Much like the pharynx cancer symptoms in dogs, disinterest in food is a sign of a greater health complication. With clinical evaluation, along with blood work and biopsy of the mouth tissue, your dog’s oral health can be addressed and mouth cancer can be treated.
When your dog is confirmed as suffering from mouth cancer, there will be treatment options made available, including canine focused chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Often, however, these treatments will be weighed against the age of your dog and if your dog has other health complications that may impede remission of the cancer. Ultimately, by seeking out early diagnosis and regular oral check-ups, you an avoid some of these risks in your family pet.
Sources: Vet Confidential, by Louise Murray